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If you’re travelling to certain parts of Europe this summer, there are certain rules of the road that you can’t afford to ignore.
So if you want to avoid unexpected fines when you hire a car, here are a few driving laws you may want to watch out for.
Although it’s also worth doing your own research before you set off, just to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
Low emission cities in France
We’ll start in France, where you’ll want to ensure you have a Vignette sticker if you plan to visit any of the major cities.
Paris, Lyon, Lille and Grenoble are designated as low emissions zones and you’ll need a sticker from the Air Quality Certificate Service on the windscreen.
The ‘Crit Air’ scheme means you’ll be hit with a fine in the region of £60 if you don’t have a Vignette sticker, while it’s best to apply well in advance of travelling as demand will be high during the summer months.
Limited Traffic zones in Italy
On a similar theme of trying to keep cars out of major cities, you’ll need to watch out for Limited Traffic Zones in Italy, which are designed to reduce congestion and pollution.
Found in the historic city centres, including in Rome, Pisa, Florence and Milan, you’ll be fined heavily if caught on camera in these areas.
And it will likely be more obvious if you’re in a hire car, as permits for driving in the Zona Traffico Limitato (or ZTL) areas are only ever given to locals.
Shoes and glasses in Spain
In the interests of safety, Spain has strict rules on what you wear. You’ll likely be fined if you’re pulled over by the police and they have reason to believe your shoes inhibit your ability to drive safely.
While it isn’t against the law to drive without shoes or in flip-flops, it is recommended that you opt for sensible shoes – just in case.
Spanish law also states you must have a spare pair of glasses (if you need them to drive) in the vehicle with you, as well as a high visibility jacket in case of breakdown. In the case of the latter, cars for hire should have one as standard but it’s always worth checking.
Check your Sat-Nav in Switzerland
And in France, Macedonia, Cyprus and Turkey, as it’s illegal to have speed camera warnings that reveal the locations of fixed installations.
Fortunately for you, most devices will allow you to disable that specific function, which will be vital if you want to avoid a fine – those for minor driving offences in Switzerland must often be paid on the spot too if you wish to continue driving.
If you are planning to hire a vehicle for your travels this summer, you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance to cover the excess you would need to pay should your vehicle be damaged or stolen.
This added extra costs less than you may think, and can provide peace of mind, especially if you plan to take on some of Europe’s more challenging roads.
Date Created: 25/05/2018